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University of Southern Maine
Libraries & Learning

SPM 100: Introduction to Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences: Find Articles

This course orients the student to the expectations of a baccalaureate education in athletic training, exercise science, or health sciences

Finding Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles are found in journals. USM subscribes to many print journals, but USM increasingly subscribes to online journals. Did you know that your tuition helps USM buy subscriptions to the journals so you have access to a wide variety of scholarly articles? Academic Search Complete (ACS) and SPORTSDiscus are two databases SPM100 students will find useful.

USM now has Rapid Inter-library Loan (ILL) so if the article you want is not at USM, just put in an ILL request and there it will probably arrive within 24 hours! Please ask if you need help doing this.

Finding Articles

When researching a topic, brainstorm words that will help you find articles. As you search for articles, you may change words and make adjustments to the search. When you find a useful article, check for the keywords that the author has listed and try searching these terms.

knee, knee injuries, ACL, skiing injuries,

Narrow or Broaden Search
As you search for articles, you may need to use "Boolean Operators" which means using the words AND OR NOT to include or exclude certain research topics.

ACL AND injury
nutrition OR diet AND athlete
strength AND athlete NOT wrestling

Quotation Marks
Use quotes when you want two or more words to be in an exact phrase.

In SPORTSDiscus, a search using
injury AND prevention AND basketball
will yield many more articles than a search using
"injury prevention" AND basketball
But, if your research focus is "injury prevention," then the second search will be more focused.

An Asterisk
Use an asterisk after the root word to include several endings of a keyword.
Instead of doing individual searches for addict, addicted, addicting, and addicts, use addict*

When you get too many results, use the Options to refine your search. 

Using Boolian Search Operators AND, OR, and NOT


From the USM Library homepage, in the right column (Quick Links), click on Databases A - Z to access the complete database list. Many databases have scholarly, trade, and popular articles, be sure you understand the differences! Below are selected databases:

Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Check Box

     Academic Search Complete    





 Academic Search Complete (ASC) & SPORTSDiscusis databases include both scholarly (peer-reviewed) and non-scholarly publications.

To limit your search to scholarly journals, be sure to check the box

Some scholarly search results may include items (book reviews, letters, etc.) that are not scholarly articles.
So, it is important to understand what a scholarly article is!

Article Linker & Full-Text

Article Linker icon

Watch this video to better understand how to get the full-text of an article, when you see the article linker icon.

Article Linker video title page